Former national head coach Datuk K. Rajgagopal spoke to the press for the first time on Monday after the decision of the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) not to renew his contract for 2014. The message from the departing manager is that he has always been positive with his players, despite the heavy criticism thrown to him from football experts and fans.
Rajagopal insisted that throughout his reign he has left a legacy that turned around the football scene here in Malaysia, especially after winning the AFF Suzuki Cup 2010, as well as the 2009 SEA Games.
Speaking at the press conference in Wisma FAM earlier, he said “We have left a legacy after 2009 and 2010 where people started to wear national jerseys and they talked about local football. I admitted that not all my players can keep the consistency but I always have a positive mind-set that we are going to win every game that we played.”
Datuk K. Rajagopal, who took charge of Malaysia since 2009, said he has accepted the FAM's decision, and insisted that he has no regrets whatsoever during his reign as the national head coach.
“The decision of not renewing my contract has been made by FAM and I will accept it professionally and I have no regrets and the good memory will always remain with me,” he added.
Rajagopal also recalled back the moment when Malaysia played against Singapore for in a qualifying game for the 2014 World Cup, pinpointing that moment as one of the best as more than 90 thousand Malaysians united to support their team. “It was amazing and I can’t remember when was the last time the whole nation got together to support our national team.”
When asked about his future, according to him he has not received any offers from any teams inside or outside the country, but he will use this time to rest with his family before he starts a new career.
He also wished good luck for the interim national team interim manager Ong Kim Swee, and thanked the people who have helped him during his reign, including the President of the FAM, Malaysia’s Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak as well as his coaching staff.
Rajagopal’s contract will officially end on the 31st December after the FAM decided not to renew his deal due to the poor performance from the national team over the past one year, including some disappointing results in the Asia Cup Qualifying campaign.